Marathon Training Plans

An estimated 506,000 individuals completed a marathon in 2018. Among those finishers, nearly 40% of them were first timers! While many of them may have followed training plans for races that were not as long, training for the marathon is much different task. For starters, the time commitment is significantly longer. Not just the number of weeks (typically 16-20 weeks), but also the amount of time spent training each week. This can be a daunting task if you don’t have the correct training plan to follow and guide you through it.


My Beginner Marathon plan is a gently progression plan. Runners will start out with relatively easily mileage for the first couple weeks. As the plan progresses, the distance you will need to cover increases steadily as well. Runners completing the Beginner plan will find that my plans are most concerned with getting you to the finish line healthy, happy, and injury free.

Those wanting a little bit more of a push can take on the Intermediate Marathon plan. This training plan is a bit more aggressive with total weekly mileage, increases in long runs, and the addition of speed/tempo work. A first-timer can certainly start with the Intermediate plan, if they have completed a number of 10K or Half Marathon races in the past 12 months.

The Advanced Marathon training plan is meant for the seasoned distance runner and those looking to improve upon their previous performances.

Select a training plan level (Beginner, Intermediate, or Advanced) from below to read the details. Each plan consists of a 20 week schedule for Marathon Runners. Inside each downloaded plan, you will find instructions on how to complete the different workouts. If you are looking for more detailed instructions or extra training advice, you might consider signing up for a Custom Training Program or Online Coaching with me.

The Beginner Marathon training plan is 20-weeks in length and includes four runs per week. You will start with a 6-mile long run in week 1 and progress to running a 20-mile long run in preparation for the race.

The Intermediate Marathon training plan is a slight increase in mileage from the beginner training plan. While this plan still includes four runs per week, there is a larger focus on the length of long runs and speed/tempo workouts.

The Advanced Marathon training plan is similar to the Intermediate plan, except that you begin with a 10-mile long run in week 1 and progress to two 20-mile long runs and one 22-mile long run in preparation for the marathon. This plan includes 5 to 6 runs per week with a focus on long runs, speed workouts, tempo runs, race pace workouts, and cross-training sessions. The goal of the Advanced Marathon program is to improve your marathon finish times and performance!

If you want to download all the marathon training plans, please click here or select the button below. You will be able to download a .zip file of all plans.

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